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Full text of "9 FAM Appendix E 700Instructions Relating to Congressional Correspondence by USDOS 3p 1.5v K7T"

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U.S. Department of State Foreign Affairs Manual Volume 9- Visas 



9 FAM APPENDIX E, 700 
INSTRUCTIONS RELATING TO 
CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENCE 

(CT: VISA - 1 4 75; 08-24 -2010) 
(Office of Origin: CA/VO/L/R) 



9 FAM APPENDIX E, 701 PROMPT 
RESPONSES ESSENTIAL 

(CT: VISA- 147 '5; 08-24-2010) 

It is most important to promptly answer inquiries from Members of 
Congress. Posts may respond to inquiries by cable, e-mail, letter, or fax. 
Posts are reminded that Congressional inquiries must be answered within 
three business days. Implicit in the Congressional inquiry is a desire for a 
prompt reply. Replies to such inquiries should be courteous and friendly, 
and the content as fully responsive to the inquirer as possible under the law 
and regulations. When complete information is not available, an interim 
message should be sent acknowledging receipt of the Congressional request. 
Questions on how to respond to specific Congressional inquiries may be 
directed to VisaNet@state.gov. 



9 FAM APPENDIX E, 702 COPIES FOR 
DEPARTMENT 

(CT: VISA- 1299; 09-15-2009) 

Posts should scan copies of Congressional correspondence and responses 
into the relevant Consular Consolidated Database (CCD) file when the 
Department requests a copy of the reply or has asked to be informed of 
developments in the case, or when the case is likely to result in significant 
Congressional interest. 

9 FAM APPENDIX E, 703 USE LAYMAN'S 
LANGUAGE 

(CT :VISA- 1056; 10-07-2008) 

Drafters should prepare cables, letters, faxes, or e-mails in unclassified 



9 FAM Appendix E 700 Page 1 of 3 



U.S. Department of State Foreign Affairs Manual Volume 9- Visas 



language intelligible to the layman. Posts should send cables through 
Department facilities using the format shown in 9 FAM Appendix E, Exhibit I. 
Drafters should keep in mind that Congressional offices frequently forward 
post communications directly to the interested constituent. 



9 FAM APPENDIX E, 704 REPLY TO 
APPROPRIATE CONGRESSIONAL OFFICE 

(CT:VISA-1056; 10-07-2008) 

Drafting officers should take special care to ensure that a reply to an inquiry 
from a Congressional district office is directed to the district office and not to 
the Washington office of the Member of Congress. When such replies are 
misdirected, the result is a delay of several days before the reply reaches 
the proper destination. This often results in the originating office making a 
follow-up inquiry when a reply has in fact already been sent. 



9 FAM APPENDIX E, 705 ALWAYS USE 
REFERENCES 

(CT:VISA-1056; 10-07-2008) 

Drafting officers must ensure that outgoing replies always reference the 
incoming inquiry. 



9 FAM APPENDIX E, 706 INCLUDE NAME AND 
ADDRESS OF CONSTITUENT 

(CT: VISA - 1 4 75; 08-24 -2010) 

Congressional offices have indicated that the inclusion of the name and 
address of the constituent, when known, is helpful to them in locating a 
case, which often is filed under the name of the constituent rather than the 
name of the visa applicant. 



9 FAM APPENDIX E, 707 REFERENCE CODES 
NOT TO BE USED IN CORRESPONDENCE 

(CT: VISA- 10 56; 10-07-2008) 

Posts should never use visa reference code words when communicating with 
Congress since their meanings are not known to Congressional offices. 



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U.S. Department of State Foreign Affairs Manual Volume 9- Visas 



9 FAM APPENDIX E, 708 INCLUDE DATE OF 
ISSUANCE 

(CT:VISA-1056; 10-07-2008) 

Correspondence regarding visa issuance should always include the date of 
issuance and, if known, travel plans. 

9 FAM APPENDIX E, 709 WHEN NOT TO 
COMMUNICATE INFORMATION 

(CT: VISA- 10 56- 10-07-2008) 

Posts cannot communicate information if: 

(1) Information is classified in nature; 

(2) The post has doubts on the subject matter of its reply. (In such 
cases a letter may be sent to the addressee through the 
Department under cover of a transmittal slip for Department review 
and final disposition, or a cable may be sent to the Department 
requesting that the Department forward the reply to the 
Congressional office); or 

(3) Messages from the Department specifically request that the reply 
be sent to the Department. (Posts are reminded to ensure that the 
cabled reply contains a "State" reference so that the proper officer 
in the Department will receive it.) 

(4) Further guidance on the information that can be released to 
requestors can be found in 9 FAM 40.4 N5 Releasing Documents or 
Information to Visa Applicants. 



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